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Atlanta, Ga. (AP) - Four firemen were killed when an explosion ripped through a burning downtown restaurant, trapping them in a basement inferno as the floor was blown from under them.

"There were guys in there screaming for help," said a fireman, his face flecked with blood, who was standing at the front of the building when the blast occurred. "We scrambled down in there and got some of them. Some we just couldn't get to."

The four they couldn't rescue were:
CAPT. L. B. GRADY, 30.
V. J. CRIDER, 30, fireman.
H. HOWARD BECK, 39, fireman.
C. D. FERNANDEZ, 25, fireman.

Their bodies were removed early Sunday by their comrades from the wreckage of the gutted three-story structure.

It was the worst loss of life the department has suffered since six Atlanta firemen were killed in 1925.

A department spokesman said a special memorial service will be held for them this week.

The Daily Times-News
Burlington, North Carolina
May 31, 1971

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